Devon

Abused stepson jailed for 'frenzied' Torquay attack

Simon Dowrick
Image caption Dowrick was abused at a level no child should undergo, the judge said

A man who carried out a "frenzied" attack on his abusive stepfather at his Devon home has been jailed.

Simon Dowrick, from Grays, Essex, repeatedly stabbed 67-year-old William Dowrick with scissors after breaking in to his Torquay home last September.

Exeter Crown Court heard the 25-year-old had harboured a grudge against his stepfather for years.

Dowrick, who admitted attempted murder, was jailed for 22 years.

The court was told Mr Dowrick adopted the defendant after marrying his mother Patricia. The couple then had two more children and moved to South Africa.

'Unloved and unwanted'

Dowrick had suffered years of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of his stepfather, defence barrister George Papageorgis told the court.

He suffered "punishment, punishment, punishment", the barrister said.

He said he was sent to a Christian farm where "he had to work from 4am to 8pm every day and he was beaten by his stepfather - punched, kicked hit with a belt and told he was no equal to his siblings".

Mr Papageorgis said Dowrick's mother Patricia told police her son's natural father was a leading Mason who carried out Satanic practises.

She said her son was "unloved and unwanted".

The court was told Dowrick was drunk when he cut the phone line and broke into his stepfather's home on 2 September 2009.

During the attack Mrs Dowrick managed to escape from the bedroom to raise the alarm with neighbours.

Mr Dowrick lost more than half his body's blood in the attack and suffered eight substantial stab wounds and multiple superficial injuries.

The court heard the victim thought he was going to die and was told by his stepson: "We are going to meet in Hell."

"I have dreamed of doing this to you. It feels so nice."

'Psychological scars'

Surgeons who saved his life described Mr Dowrick as a "very lucky man".

Prosecutor Richard Crabb said: "He is a shadow of the man he used to be with substantial physical scars and psychological scars."

He said Mr Dowrick cannot work, socialise, be left alone at home and suffers nightmares.

Judge Graham Cottle said he accepted Dowrick had never been shown any love or affection.

"On the contrary your childhood in South Africa where you were living with him and your mother, was a childhood characterised by physical and emotional abuse from him at a level that no child should ever have to undergo," he said.

But Judge Cottle said Dowrick had launched a premeditated and frenzied attack on his stepfather with the intention of watching him die.

He told Dowrick he would have been sentenced to 28 years in prison had he not pleaded guilty.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: "The trauma that both John and Patricia Dowrick have experienced and are still managing is significant and John is still receiving treatment for this."

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